Depending on who you ask, photographer Helen Aller’s photo of a newborn nestled just beneath his mother’s C-section scar is provocative, beautiful, unappealing or an example of social media over-share. The image, uploaded to Facebook on August 11, has gone viral, so far garnering more than 229,000 likes and nearly 66,000 shares.
The pic was born from a photo shoot with a mom who, Aller writes, was “terrified she was of having a C-section.” As is often the case with labor, things don’t always go as planned, and the woman ended up requiring an emergency C-section due to complications. “She asked me to come over this morning and shoot this particular image, as her worst nightmare proved to be what saved her and her child’s lives.”
On her blog, Aller says 7.5 million people worldwide have seen the image so far. Comments range from supportive (“The journey of pregnancy is a beautiful road that can also be a bumpy one, for us who carry the scar know and understand more than anyone else the meaning behind this beautiful pain. Because of emergency C-section both me and my little girl are alive and I can tell the tale of my journey that night.”) to practical (“All women should be proud of the way they birth. Babies can sometimes come into the world under some very stressful circumstances and we are lucky to live in an age that when it is needed, a C-section saves lives!”) to nasty (“Sorry, I can’t find this beautiful … Will you and your ilk post pictures of baby spit-up and call it beautiful because it contains breast milk?”)